I recently bought a cheap Lenovo 14w 81MQ laptop and was curious if it would be possible to upgrade the memory or SSD. The specific version of the 14w I have is the AMD A6-9220C CPU with 64GB eMMC version and my question was whether or not there was an m.2 slot available as depicted in the general maintenance manual here, as some folks online mentioned it doesn’t exist for this specific version of the 14w:
I decided to have a look for myself and see what can be upgraded so I took it apart using the above linked maintenance manual. Note that you need to remove the bottom cover, battery, and heatsink to see that area
Remove the bottom cover
First, I loosened the 9 screws that hold on the bottom back plate. Note that I said loosen vs remove because the screws actually stay on the back plate, they’re not removable:
Next, I grabbed a pre tool (or one could use an old credit card, guitar pick, or something similarly rigid and plastic) and started to pry apart the bottom cover. It took me a while to find somewhere I could actually get my pry tool to fit in, which ended up being along the back edge by one of the hinges. Then I just moved the tool along the entire perimeter of the cover until the cover came right off
Remove the battery
With the bottom cover off, now it’s time to remove the battery. First you need to remove the 4 screws holding the battery in place (these are removable, so don’t lose them!)
Then, you need to remove the battery cable. The way I did it was by using a flat head screw driver and very gently pushed away from from the connector against the little ridge in the plug as shown below. Just be careful not to jab anything once the cable comes free!
Remove the heatsink
With the battery removed, you’re now ready to remove the heatsink by removing the six screws pictured below. When removing the heatsink, there may be a little resistance because of the thermal paste between the heatsink itself and the CPU, so just be aware.
Check for m.2 header
Finally, with the back cover, battery, and heatsink removed, we now have access to see if there is an available m.2 slot:
And unfortunately, Lenovo decided to not include the slot in this version of the laptop. If it was there, it would be right next to the wifi card shown below, but if you happened to want to swap out the WiFi card, you could do that at least!:
To answer the question of whether one can upgrade the SSD on a Lenovo 14w 81MQ laptop (with 64gb eMMC) the answer, apparently, is sadly no; Lenovo decided to leave off the m.2 header that would otherwise allow you to add one. That said, if you wanted to, you can swap out the WiFi card, though not sure there’d be any real need to do so. Note, however, that other 14w versions, meaning, any that do not come with the eMMC storage, should have an existing SSD in an m.2 slot in that location, in which case you could swap it for a different m.2 drive.